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Government filings

This page explains what forms and documents nonprofits must file with the government each year.
If your nonprofit is incorporated in Ontario, it has to file a corporate annual return and other forms annually. If you don’t, then your nonprofit could be dissolved by the Ontario government, or lose its charitable status if it is a registered charity with Canada Revenue Agency.

Filing corporate annual returns

Ontario nonprofits need to fill out a corporate annual return every year. Some of the things the corporate annual return asks for include:

  • Administrative information such as your name and email address. This information will not be made available to the public.
  • The names of new directors or officers and the date they were elected or appointed.
  • The dates any directors or officers stopped holding office (the form uses the word “cease” to mean the date that the director or officer stopped being a director or officer).
  • The name and address of the person who confirms that the information you submit is accurate.

Please note that if you have already reported changes to the directors and officers by filing a notice of change, then you can select the “no changes” option, but you still have to file the corporate annual return.

Registered charities also have to file an Annual Charity Information Return (which is often referred to as the T3010 with the Canada Revenue Agency.

Yes.
To report changes to their articles, nonprofits have to file “articles of amendment” with the Government of Ontario. This page discusses filing articles of amendment.

Yes.

Nonprofits must file a Notice of Change with the Government of Ontario within 15 days after:

  • their head office or registered office moves to a new address
  • a director leaves or a new director is elected or appointed
  • there are changes to their 5 most senior officers

The Notice of Change may be filed through the Ontario Business Registry, by mail, or through a third party service provider.

If you’re a charity, you have to file your new by-laws with Canada Revenue Agency once the by-laws have been enacted by the board of directors and confirmed by the members of the charity.

There are 3 ways to do this:

  • Online through the Ontario Business Registry . There is no fee.
  • Online through a private sector service provider. The fees for this vary.
  • By mail by printing out this form and sending it to Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, Central Production and Verification Services Branch 393 University Avenue, Suite 200, Toronto, Ontario M5G 2M2. There is no fee.

The Government of Ontario recommends that if you file by mail, you first order a Corporate Profile that will tell you what information is currently on record with the government. The names, dates, and address of directors and officers whose information you’re changing should match previous records. If they don’t match, it creates a duplicate record.

Reporting changes to the government is not the only thing that you need to do. You also need to make sure that the form you want to file has been properly approved. For example, if your organization is amending its articles, you have to ask the board of directors to approve those changes and you have to ask the members to confirm those changes before you can file the articles of amendment. The articles of amendment ask for the date that the members have authorized the amendment. If you don’t go through the approval process, the Ontario government will not accept your articles.

If you don’t file what the government asks you to file in time, the nonprofit or its directors can be fined. Nonprofits whose information is not up to date may also not be able to start a court case.

Filing tax returns

Sometimes.

The Ontario government explains which nonprofits have to pay taxes. Generally, all nonprofits that are corporations have to file a corporate income tax return with Canada Revenue Agency, regardless of whether they have to pay tax or not. In addition, certain nonprofits may also have to file a Non-Profit Organization (NPO) Information Return (which is also referred to as a Form T1044). Find out if this rule applies to you and how to fill out the T1044.

If you haven’t filed your income tax return, an annual information return or a corporate annual return for a few years, it is probably a good idea to contact a lawyer or accountant who has experience in nonprofit law. There can be penalties charged to organizations that do not file their income tax returns or information returns when required to do so. Sometimes you can avoid paying penalties, but it is better to speak with a legal or tax professional about this situation.